What I love most about my weight loss journey is that I haven’t deprived myself. EVER. EDIT: Well, that’s not entirely true. Here, this is more accurate: What I love most about my weight loss journey this time around is that I haven’t deprived myself and I’ve been successful!
The best thing about this whole journey is that I’ve learned to enjoy the foods that I love most, but do so in a way that I’ve heard all throughout my life for healthy weight loss—in moderation. But, what does “in moderation” mean and how do you get to that point when it seems impossible?
Well, my pizza addiction started back when I was in college. I can’t even begin to imagine the amount of money spent and calories consumed from my pizza diet alone. I was all about Pizza Hut, but when the local Pizza Hut closed down, I switched to Johnnie’s New York Pizza (cha-ching…$$$!). And, I didn’t only have it often and on the regular, but I could put down a large pepperoni pizza all by myself. I’d like to say it was “easy”, but I do recall the constant miserable feeling after I ate and the way my food usually would find a way to bite back after that.
In the past, I found that whenever I would try to to lose weight, I’d give up everything cold turkey. I felt like I couldn’t have the things that I loved and be successful. The problem with this “all or nothing” thinking is that it leads to feeling deprived. And whenever I did finally have pizza, I’d end up back to my old, miserable binging habits. So, I had to find a happy medium that worked.
Here are some tips on how I have been able to be successful with both eating pizza and losing weight!
- TIP #1. Make it special. One of the things that I’ve tried to do is find good pizza. Not all pizza is made alike. So, if I’m going to have pizza, I want it to be special and I want it to taste good. So, I sought out to find the best local pizza spots. Right now, my favorite is a local, family-owned restaurant called Domenick’s in San Pedro (and there’s a location in Carson, too).
- TIP #2. Sit down at a table. I try to go there and sit down, like you would any other restaurant. What this means, is you probably have a friend or family member with you. You sit down, you order your food like a restaurant, you engage in conversation and really enjoy your time. Even if I don’t feel like going out and being in the restaurant, then I’ll make sure that we sit down at the dining table, like every other meal we eat at home.
- TIP #3. Pair with a salad. I love me some salad and want to make sure I get enough veggies in each day, so I make sure that I have salad on hand and that I eat the salad before I start to eat the pizza.
- TIP #4. Fork and knife it. I have had people think I’m crazy, but the “fork and knife” method of eating pizza is one of the best ways to actually slow down your eating. Eating pizza without it typically results in shoveling the food in my mouth by the slice. It becomes mindless eating. When I use a fork and knife, not only do I slow down, but it allows me to truly chew, enjoy, and savor each and every bite of the pizza.
- TIP #5. Drink water. Another tip I have for enjoying pizza and allowing myself to eat until I’m satisfied, not until I’m full, is to drink water between bites or at least throughout the meal. This helps fill you up quicker and will help you get your water in!
- TIP #6. Self-evaluate before grabbing that next slice. I typically allow myself two slices of pizza when I do have pizza. If I’m going to go for a third slice, I will do a little self-evaluation test. I will first ask myself, “Are you full?” If I can’t immediately answer that question, then I will walk away from the pizza and rest for a bit. If I’m still hungry and want that third slice after 15-20 minutes, then I will go back and get that third slice.
- BONUS TIP #7. Keep it out of sight. When I eat pizza at home, I’ve found that I need to keep the pizza out of sight. I leave the box in the kitchen, so that every slice I grab requires me to get up (like you would at any other meal) and get seconds. When the box is right in front of you, it’s so easy to keep eating. It’s like an open bag of chips. And, what’s worse is if you have other family members or friends over and you start to see the supply dwindle down. You begin to fear that the food will run out and you need to rush. This is especially true if you’re slowing down your eating and they’re fast eaters. So, put the pizza out of sight and it will als help you control your pizza intake.
When I follow the tips above, I find that sometimes 1 slice, but most often 2 slices of pizza are enough. I no longer find myself eating entire pizzas on my own. Yes, on WeightWatchers®, the pizza slices tend to run on average somewhere between 9 and 11 SmartPoints® each, but that’s okay. I plan for that, enjoy myself, track it and move on.
I hope that this is helpful to you! I truly believe that life is too short to enjoy it. So, if you love pizza. Eat it. Just find a way that you can eat it, enjoy it, not feel guilty about it, and be successful. It is possible! I promise! ♥